In the May 2019 Pew Charitable Trusts' report asking Philadelphians what their most important issues were, respondents listed “crime, drugs, and public safety, a marked shift from four years ago when the top concern was the quality of the local education system.” A year later, after COVID and Black Lives Matter protests exploded, respondents still listed public safety as the city’s top issue. Now, according to Pew, only 49% of residents feel safe in their neighborhoods at night, down from the typical 55% to 60% range from previous years.
COVID has driven our schools to offer virtual education to protect the health of students, teachers and staff. For many of our kids, the violence in their neighborhoods—1,116 people shot in 2020 as of this writing—doesn’t provide a healthy learning environment.
Editorial cartoons from this week include: